SmoothSpan Blog

For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and other Digerati who need to know about SaaS and Web 2.0.

Big Screen Kindle for College Kids is Brilliant

Posted by Bob Warfield on July 18, 2008

Remember how much college textbooks costs?  Maybe you’ve bought some recently.  It’s horrendous!  And the reason is not that many are printed.  These tomes are not best sellers in most cases.  They’re thick, they have illustrations, and they are expensive to print.  Double expensive because the printing runs are not for very many copies.

Enter Amazon’s plans to introduce a new Kindle with an 8 1/2 x 11″ screen.  Perfect!  Kindling (sorry Fahrenheit 451 fans) textbooks is brilliant.  Radically lower the cost of delivery by eliminating printing and going digital and you can sell them cheaper and still raise eveyrone’s margins.  Plus the kids were raised in a digital world, so they’re ready for it.  On top of all that, those old textbooks are heavy!  I would so like to carry a Kindle instead. 

And why aren’t University libraries being set up around Kindle technology?  Why keep all those crazy books?  Set up a server in a basement somewhere, create some sort of library checkout licensing scheme (Amazon would administer this), and voila! Everything is computerized.  Books are still checked out, so only 1 (or however many the license allows) can have a book at a time, the computer can force the return of the book when it is due. 

Huge potential for digital books going forward.  I’m going to watch Amazon closely.

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4 Responses to “Big Screen Kindle for College Kids is Brilliant”

  1. patrickdlogan said

    With a kid in college I can assure you someone’s making a bundle on those dead trees and will fight tooth and nail to maintain that revenue stream. Remind you of anyone? *cough*AP*cough* *cough*RIAA*cough* *cough*

  2. smoothspan said

    Patrick, the owners of the IP will make even more with the Kindle. The publishers are already outsourcing their printing, so why should they fight it?

    Cheers,

    BW

  3. Bob, I think your kid are about the same age as mine. Don’t they have crazy backpacks that are full of books that end up weighing about 1/3 to 1/2 their actual body weight? Imagine what that’ll do over time to their posture and or spine. I think the Kindle would be stellar for a replacement for all those dang books. I guess the issue is that younger kids are tough on books and the Kindle maybe too expensive to hand one to each kid. But I think Amazon’s got immense potential with Kindle.

    Heck, I actually send myself PDF’s of manuals to the Kindle so that I don’t have to carry paper versions ever. I love my Kindle, but I don’t seem to use it as much as I thought I would. I guess I am in front of a PC or have my iPhone with me all the time.

  4. zurlocker said

    I think Kindle 2.0 sounds like great progress. Having a big screen is good for text books. Having a smaller form factor is good for casual reading. And having better UI and more open support for PDF and TXT files is great for everyone.

    –Zack

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